Policies for sustainable growth sought

‘Global north should transfer latest technologies to south’.


Express November 03, 2011

MULTAN:


Experts at a seminar on food insecurity on Thursday urged stakeholders to come up with policies for sustainable growth of the agriculture sector to address increasing demand for food, fuel and animal feed.


They suggested that countries in the global north needed to transfer the latest technology to those in the south facing food scarcity.

They were speaking at a policy dialogue on food insecurity in Pakistan organised by ActionAid in collaboration with the European Commission on Thursday.

Shoaib Aziz from ActionAid said increasing demand for food along with rapid changes in the environment could pose serious challenges for the country’s economy in the coming days.

He said since the rise in prices of essential commodities in 2008, almost half of the country’s population fell in the food insecure category.

Pakistan Central Cotton Research Institute Director Dr Ghulam Hussain urged the government to provide free agricultural inputs to farmers affected by floods in Sindh.

Former Federal Seed Certification director general Dr Boota Sarwar said the level of agricultural output in the country had not increased since 1980. He said new seeds were not contributing to any significant increases in output while the cost of farming was increasing.

Imran Qureshi from ActionAid said that farmers in several villages of Dera Ghazi Khan, Toba Tek Singh and Bahawalnagar had successfully reduced their cost of production and increased their incomes under an ActionAid and European Commission project. He said livestock including goats and chicken provided to women on credit had helped raise child nutrition levels.

ActionAid Pakistan’s Food Security Expert Nasir Aziz said the “green revolution” had been detrimental for small farmers. He said investment in agriculture should be increased to cope with the damage done by floods.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2011.

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